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South African born Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44 billion

On 26 April 2022, worldwide news broke that Tesla CEO and the world’s richest man Elon Musk had agreed on a deal to buy the infamous digital town square: Twitter.

Elon Musk’s claim to fame was his development of the online payment system PayPal which he sold for $1.5 billion, his debut in Silicone Valley which is known for its Tech start-ups.

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The social media platform’s board of directors agreed to Musk’s bid for $54.20 (ZAR 851,36) per share – a total of $44 billion – for 100 percent company control.

Any takeover will be subject to due diligence on Musk’s side and on the current Twitter shareholders voting to sell their stakes for the price he’s offering. If the company’s shareholders agree to sell their stakes, then Twitter, a publicly-traded company since 2013, will revert to private ownership with Musk in charge.

Five changes we can expect now:

Free Speech: Musk has called for relaxing Twitter’s content restrictions and described a platform free from content moderation.

The introduction of the edit button: Editing tweets could allow users to selectively distort what they said or deny making inflammatory remarks, complicating efforts to trace misinformation.

Twitter’s algorithm should be open source: Musk said this would help prevent “behind the scenes manipulation” such as fuelling massive foreign propaganda, which Facebook has been accused of during former US President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Tackling cryptocurrency scams: Musk has declared war on spambots. “If our Twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spambots or die trying,” read one of Musk’s tweets.

Trump’s return: There is a possibility of reinstating the account of former President Donald Trump, who was permanently banned from Twitter for his part in encouraging the January 6 insurrection.

After the announcement that Twitter had accepted Elon Musk’s $44 billion bid to purchase the social media platform, the internet started wondering: what else could have been done with such an astonishing amount of money? Many argue that Musk could have rather focused on solving world hunger instead. Regardless, much of Elon Musk’s Twitter deal is still a mystery; let’s see what will happen next.